In this paper we reflect on a very specific aspect of some recent organisational research. In particular, we will look at the phenomenon of ‘caring leadership’ through a reflection on some ‘conflicting narratives’ of leadership and care within a charitable organisation.
We do not seek to resolve these conflicts – to somehow explain them away – but rather to explore a less common way of thinking about them. We suggest that there is a tendency to evaluate differing narratives from the perspective of our knowledge or values base. In short, there is a tendency to ‘take sides’ and mobilise an analysis or argument in favour of one or another position. By contrast, our approach is to explore what the practice of Negative Capability might offer in our work as researchers. We also consider what this practice might offer to leaders and other organisational members.
Simpson, P., & von Bulow, C. (2018, September). Negative Capability and conflicting narratives in leadership development. Paper presented at The Poetics of Leadership International Conference - Crossfields Institute, UK and IFLAS, University of Cumbria, Lake District, UK